“Does your mom know anything about basketball? She got any eligibility left? Maybe I should sit you and suit her up instead. She’s hopped up on goofballs, so I bet she’s got a better chance at finding the net than you.”
Today’s strip is chock full o’ insults. First Aaron insults his mom, then one of the most intelligent of dog breeds. Gil then insults Tina’s ability to understand whether Aaron is playing well or not and, backhandedly, Aaron himself for suddenly being worried about what she thinks. Neither of them seemed so worried when they were diming Tina out last week.
Finally, the attention to detail in this strip – in the entire winter arc, for that matter – is a little insulting. I rejoined the TWIM rotation mid-arc so maybe I shouldn’t be one to throw stones, so I’m gonna ask the Milford SID to check me on this season recap:
Binghamton – W
@ Downsville – ?
@ Tilden – W
Oakwood – ?
Central – W
@ Tilden – W
Goshen – W
Madison – L
@ Jefferson – L
Valley Tech – W
“marginally adequate” game – ?
@ Oakwood – L
Central – W
Jefferson – today’s game
Am I off, or has Milford played Tilden on the road twice and Central at home twice? If I’m off, I’ll come back and update this post. In addition, Aaron started the season wearing uniform number 24 but since the second Central game has switched to number 11. Today he’s conceded #24 to the kid standing to his left. I just get the sense that, in his efforts to turn the past three months into A Very Special Gil Thorp, Rubin’s lost sight of the actual action that supposedly drives this strip.
And we inch along to the next game, which happens to be one Aarons mom attends – has she seen a game yet? We hadnt explored this angle – that maybe his performances are tied to her being there. Of course we only had 3 months to get this far – Aaron was introduced on December 15, a mere 100 days ago. Looks like a recycled panel in P3 but not quite
By the way, I was thinking about the pace of this strip when I was in 2 traffic jams on my recent trip to Arizona for Cubs spring training – on 10 West in Phoenix, a 6-lane interstate that apparently still isnt enough room for everyone; my 21-mile trip to Goodyear Stadium took over an hour. Then driving home from the airport took 2 hours to go 115 blocks. Yeesh. Thats what I get for scheduling a later flight so I dont have to get up at 5 to go to the airport to take my shoes off. :) Good ol rush hour traffic plus a closed road.
Gil looks resigned to the fact of Aaron shacking up with him and Mimi; he had second thoughts 5 seconds after his proposal.
So many questions at this point…
- Did Gil ever get a word in edgewise?
- When does Aaron stop addressing Gil and start addressing the guys in the locker room?
- I confess to not being familiar with the ins and outs of pill popping. Does ones addiction and associated tolerance become so severe that you can be seen to ‘snack’ on the pills?
- Did Gil take Aaron out for another round of milkshakes and slices of pie or is rage (aka frustration) all the fuel that this kid needs?
- How much had that Central fan in the background had to drink before he/she lettered that sign?
I am amazed, again, at how much this whole thing is just Gil winging it and largely deferring to AaAa’s whims.
Panel three raises all kinds of questions as Mike’s hangdog expression and Ken’s exploding eyeball suggests that they still feel like they should be solving the case of the kid who’s parents do drugs (and/or live in Norway).
So Gil helped Tina Aagard find a couple rehab programs? I guess his job extends even further into the realm of crisis intervention than we had surmised. We’ll just assume that Tina has adequate healthcare coverage through one of her jobs.
Since Gil arranged this on his own, Aaron’s welfare falls upon him, I guess. Mimi, put some fresh linens in the guest room and stock the freezer with Hot Pockets. We’re gonna have a guest for a little while. What rules? What boundaries? I don’t know what you’re talking about.
Yesterday we finally found out what Gil’s been feeding Aaron – Purina Rat Chow. Today Gildeaux, the one-man crisis intervention squad, keeps moving the chains forward.* But to get to the goal of a healthy life for young Aaron, he seems determined to drive through the red zone of breaking up the Aagard nuclear family.
What next then for Aaron? Does he become the Thorps’ replacement child? Does Gil have a seven-day plan for him? Does this arc drag out into baseball season? Let’s hope not!
Show of hands: How many of you looked at P2 – especially the B&W version – and thought Tina Aagard was looking through her glasses through her hair a la Cousin Itt? Thought so.
*Yeah, I know football metaphor, so sue me.
Well gang, its back to black and white for the moment as I cant copy the Seattle Times strip for some odd reason. Sorry – I know you all miss that blue hair!
So Aaron finds Ma’s pills in her hiding place and reveals her to be a pathological liar as well as a drug abuser. I suppose the pills maybe help her to stay awake for long hours or whatever, but still no excuse to sacrifice that for her sons well-being.
Of course, she could ask Gil the same question in a way – his idea of coaching is to let someone else do all the work for free until the shit finally hits the fan, then he hastily cleans up all the months-old stench left behind from his own neglect of his team(s).
Again we waste all winter with this one issue and the girls team has been left invisible with nary a Hadley V. Baxendale around to stir up some more interesting trouble.
Finally – why does Mom need her glasses on her head sitting at home? Cant anyone in this strip who wears glasses wear them ON THEIR FACE?? Only exception is of course Marjie Ducey; but everyone else feels the need to show off their frames as a head ornament.